Published August 9, 2021

How to write job adverts that attract the best talent


When recruiting the best talent for your business it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, and while you may think that your company or business is the best place in the world to work convincing a brand new audience can be tricky.  Attracting the best talent usually starts with writing a great job advert so, with that in mind, here are some do’s and don’ts to think about when writing your next job advert.

Do keep it short and snappy. Prospective candidates don’t want to be reading paragraph after paragraph only to realise that the job isn’t for them or it’s not what the title suggested. Start with a short paragraph that rounds up the role, a few bullet points listing key responsibilities, describe the qualities and experience the right candidate would have, include some information about the company and list the role and company benefits. You can also provide contact information for the right person to get in touch with should any prospective applicants wish to discuss the role in more detail before applying. Start with these fundamentals then build upon them if necessary. 

Don’t dress up a role as something else with a fancy or obscure title. If you’re looking for a Social Media Executive to run your channels don’t advertise for a ‘Social Media Wizard’ or an ‘Instagram Extraordinaire’’. Not only are titles like these misleading and a bit cringe-worthy, but they’re also not common or searchable meaning candidates won’t be searching for them and ultimately won’t find your advert. 

Do think about the SEO of your job adverts. Much like ensuring the job title is searchable and recognisable, make sure your advert is a clear representation of what the role actually is by including keywords that relate to the role and the kind of talent you’re looking for.  For example, if you’re recruiting for a Security Solutions Architect with knowledge of Prince 2, experience dealing with internal stakeholders and collaborating with teams you would ensure that the keywords “Prince 2”, “internal stakeholders” and “collaborating” would all feature heavily in your advert. That way they’ll rank higher in your prospective Candidate’s searches. 

Do disclose the salary bracket. You’ll see countless adverts offering a “competitive salary” to prospective talent, but if the salary is so “competitive” why is it a secret? Not disclosing the salary in your jobs adverts can put potential candidates off applying. In fact, 66% of people looking for a new role are more likely to apply if they know the salary upfront, so always display a salary range and highlight to the possibility of salary negotiation if applicable to the role.

Do be flexible with role requirements. You’ll see many job adverts that list a degree or a formal qualification in an appropriate field as an essential requirement but often, experience, character and the right attitude can outweigh a formal qualification. Many people will be discouraged from applying for a role if they fail to hit all of the stated requirements. This is especially true for women with many only applying for roles if they hit 100% of the desired criteria.  Don’t limit your chances of attracting the best talent by making the job requirements too specific.

Don’t use generic buzz words. Are the words you’re using to describe the role, ideal candidate or your company relevant or are you just filling gaps to make the advert sound better? Buzz words can be misleading and can come across as generic and disingenuous to the reader. What even constitutes a “forward-thinking company” anyway? Avoid fluff and stick to the facts. 

Don’t list holiday days and sick leave as “benefits”, these are legal requirements, not perks. Also, saying that your office provides free tea and coffee is also not anything out of the ordinary and it’s not going to convince potential talent to apply for your position over others. Things like mental health days, flexible working, budget for continued professional development and mentoring programmes however are all genuine incentives that could be the difference between your ideal candidate applying for your role over your competitors. 

Do showcase your company’s culture and ethos. 66% of millennials value positive company culture more than a higher salary when it comes to looking for a new role and 69% of people would only apply for a role if the company’s values were aligned with their own. So, if you’re proud of your company’s culture, shout about it! Highlight the great work you do and how your company nurtures talent and takes care of its employees. You could even ask existing team members to provide you with testimonials about their experiences at the company. These will evidence your claims to prospective candidates and provide them with an insight into what it’s like to work for you. 

The right advert combined with your company’s online presence and reputation could give you the winning formula for attracting the best talent. It’s all about putting yourself in your ideal candidate’s shoes. What would they be looking for? What do they want from their next prospective employer? Put these points into action when writing your next job advert to ensure you attract the best talent. 

Miriam Collett

PR & Communications Manager

Inspired Business Media